HealthBoards (
-   Skin Problems (
-   -   What causes fingernail ridges and white spots? (

rnmcd 12-30-2000 10:55 AM

What causes fingernail ridges and white spots?
What causes fingernail ridges and white spots?

I have, for several years, had parallel ridges that run from the tip of my fingernails to the cuticle, any idea what causes this and if there are any nutritional methods to remedy it?

Also, I have white spots on many of my fingernails. I am sure that it is not a fungus but have heard that a zinc deficiency can cause this. Any suggestions?

Have a great day,

Marti 12-31-2000 02:15 PM

Re: What causes fingernail ridges and white spots?
Both of these questions are very simple to answer. Leuconychia is evident as white lines or spots in the nail plate and may be caused by tiny bubbles of air that are trapped in the nail plate layers due to trauma. This condition may be hereditary and no treatment is required as the spots will grow out with the nail plate. Vertical Ridges are also characteristic of aging, although are not limited to the aged or elderly. The nail plate grows forward on the nail bed in a 'rail and groove' effect, much like a train rides on its' tracks. As we age, the natural oil and moisture levels decline in the nail plate, and this rail and groove effect becomes apparent. This disorder can also be caused from having your hands in water a lot, or using household cleaning solvents without wearing gloves. Ridged nails will improve through re-hydration of the nail plate with twice daily applications of a good quality nail and cuticle oil containing Jojoba and Vitamin E.

Moon 01-02-2001 07:07 PM

Re: What causes fingernail ridges and white spots?
I knew someone that had some experince with ridges on their fingernails.

This person was totally normal (nailwise) and then they got a divorce with all the associated trauma. They noticed these giant ridges on their fingernails. They looked into it and were told that ridges on the fingernails are like growth rings on a tree, they reveal times of stress and no ridges reveal times of calm.

After about a year the ridges grew out. No problem for several years. Then the gulf war came and the son had to go to the gulf. Guess what the ridges came back (big time).

So, what does that tell you. Is it diet. Is it stress. Is it aging.

You can soak those iguana looking ridges all day long and you will only get wet ridges. Once you grow them in, they will only go away as they grow out (assuming you are doing something right) with time.

There is one alternative. You can sand the ridges off and buff and polish your nails. This will help. (be careful not to sand thru your nail. I can guarantee, that, will hurt in the morning!)

Marti 01-02-2001 07:19 PM

Re: What causes fingernail ridges and white spots?
Vertical ridges in the nail plate are caused by a plate that lacks oil and moisture because the nail bed is not producing enough. The vertical ridges are the rail and groove upon which the plate rides forward. These ridges become apparent as we age or from using strong solvents which dry out the nail plate. Horizontal ridges are something else, and can be caused by poor health and other factors, although stress is not one of them. A horizontal ridge will appear in the nail plate if one has a 'nervous tic' habit of 'scratching' on or around the matrix (the lunula, the opaque white area at the base of the nail, is the leading edge of the matrix). Any 'trauma' to the matrix will appear as a horizontal ridge which will grow out with the nail plate as soon as the 'habit' is broken or is stopped. Stress can relate to dull hair, pulling of the hair, twisting the hair, or any other 'nervous tic' habit. Nail biting and 'scratching' at the matrix are other forms of stress related 'nervous tic' habits. After 33 years of serving nail clients, I have just about seen it all, and made re commendations and given advise to thousands of people asking these same questions. Believe me, wearing gloves when you use water (which is the universal solvent because it removes more solutes than any other chemical) or household cleaning solutions (solvents) is the best way to prevent premature aging and drying of the nail plate. Oiling the nails at least twice a day with a good cuticle and nail oil will help to replenish depleted oil and moisture levels.

rnmcd 01-05-2001 09:44 AM

Re: What causes fingernail ridges and white spots?
Thanks for the input.

I am wondering about the white spots. I understand the air bubbles under the nails but my white spots only went away once in the last 15 years and that is when I took somewhat hight does of Zinc.

Has anyone else had success with this method of treatment?

Take care, Ron

Marti 01-05-2001 01:26 PM

Re: What causes fingernail ridges and white spots?
Zinc is very good as a suppliment for Leuconychia (white spots) -- it can also help you to prevent catching the cold virus. I take zinc mostly in the cooler months so I won't catch a cold. I know they say vitamin c, but zinc works for me!! White spots can also be caused from trauma (however slight) to the matrix of the nail. If you perform a job where you may 'bump' your nails repeatedly, you might try paying more attention to what you are or were doing just prior to noticing the spot. White spots are not damaging to the nails, they are more of a 'cosmetic' concern.

leibesleid 01-11-2001 12:58 PM

Re: What causes fingernail ridges and white spots?
i'm not sure if this is what you have.
but i do kno that white spots on toe/finger nails can be cause when you accidently hit your fingernail on something. like if you ran them along a chain link fence you may see some white spots on your fingernails the day after. or link if you accidently hit your nail with a hammer, the part that was hit will turn white.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:14 AM.